My respect for Everton manager Roberto Martinez has nosedived this season; and even more so following his daft remarks concerning Arsene Wenger.
When you look at how poor the Premier League is at present, Everton should be pushing top four, not lingering in mid-table. Their squad is packed with brilliant young talent like Lukaku, Stones, Barkley and Deulofeu, and those players also have the experience of Howard, Baines, Coleman, Jagielka and Barry behind them. However, under Martinez’ guidance Everton have only managed 9 wins in 28 games.
With Arsenal travelling to Goodison Park this weekend, Martinez has labelled Wenger “an inspiration”. Martinez says that Arsenal can still win the title, but if they lose to Everton they could be 14 points behind Leicester by Saturday evening, which would surely end their feeble challenge. So in effect, what Martinez is saying is, Arsenal can catch Leicester - by beating his own team.
On the topic of critics, Martinez goes on to say, "It's the modern world we live in; when we're so easily led to criticise.”
“There is a need to have an opinion and criticise the losing team. The modern game is ruthless and at the back of a defeat you'll get criticised - and everyone has an opinion and everyone knows better than you and that's disappointing.”
Who does that sound like? Clearly, Martinez has no option at the moment but to bow down to his “inspiration” and create his own brand of Wenger bullsh*t, as both managers are busted flushes trying to prolong their stay at their respective clubs by aggressively rubbishing critics.
One has to wonder where Everton would be had David Moyes not gambled his career on Man Utd. When Moyes joined Everton he dug them out of relegation in his first season and qualified for the Champions League the year after. From then on, he finished 11th, 6th, 5th, 5th, 8th, 7th, 7th and 6th.
Despite a good start, finishing 5th, Martinez performance has nosedived over the last two years as Everton finished 11th with 47 points last season and are currently 12th with 38 points. Apart from Moyes’ first season, the Scotsman never had point totals that low in all his years at the club, despite playing in a league of a much higher standard and having a paltry net spend. In fact, Moyes' net spend per season was £803,000 - Martinez' net spend is £34.5m.
Now that Everton has been taken over and big money has landed on the club’s shores, the new owners need to throw Martinez out. Like Wenger, Martinez has no understanding of the defensive side of the game and fans must surely see that he's never shown in his career that he's a competent defensive coach.
Back to Arsenal, who predictably folded against Barcelona this week losing the tie 5-1 on aggregate. I thought Barcelona never really moved out of second gear over both legs. Credit where it’s due, Elneny scored a nice goal on the night, but the rest was the epitome of predictability.
Is Theo Walcott’s career over? Wenger preferred Alex Iwobi to him at Camp Nou, which I found hilarious. He also preferred Flamini to Coquelin, which tells its own story. What was also hilarious is that 20% of Barcelona fans didn’t bother turning up to the game.
The knives are out for Wenger this week, with a lot of ex-players having a dig:
Alan Smith says, “If they fall away, then the board have got to seriously look at the manager's position and I think Arsene Wenger will have to look at his position too.”
Ian Wright says, "At some stage it's got to happen and I think something's got to happen this season with what's happening with Arsenal, especially if they don't win the league."
Emmanuel Petit says, "Should he stay as manager at the club? I don't know. It's probably the time for him to stay but in a different role at the club... I think they need something new."
Paul Merson says, "People may say there's nobody better than him, but there's a thousand managers who could come in and get Arsenal in the top four. If Leicester or Tottenham win the title then I just don't see how he can keep his job."
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